The Studeblogger

Monday, November 16, 2009

And off we go.

This morning Barney moved under his own power... up the ramp of a flat-bed tow truck :) It was a planned excursion, though - the brakes have to be gone through before I'll consider taking him onto the open road..

So, for the first time since August of 2006, he's out of our driveway. With the help of my wife, I made a three-point turn in our driveway and faced him out to the world, then called for a tow using my Hagerty Plus membership. Hagerty Plus is like AAA for collector cars; you get up to three free 10-mile flatbed tows per year.

So I called, and in about 45 minutes S&R was at the door, and we loaded Barney onto his truck. I actually drove it onto the flatbed, which was a bit tense because I had to really get on the gas to move him up the ramp - the first time I've really put power to the rear wheels in gear. Because he hasn't been driven so long, the tires are pretty shiny and I spun 'em a little at the very end, which caused the car to slide sideways a bit. The driver decided at that point to call it good and chained her down for the ride.

We took kind of the long way 'round getting there, but arrived at Vista Brake without incident about half-an-hour later (me keeping a respectful distance behind the truck in case anything unpleasant should occur).

I can't recommend Vista Brake highly enough. If you're in North San Diego County and need brakes, alignment, suspension or other work done, they are the place to go. I've known owner Brian Dornan for years; he's worked on all my cars (and his dad before him) since the 1980s - my '67 Pontiac, my long-lost Dodge Rampage, my wife's Honda Pilot, etc. etc. He and his crew are excellent mechanics who can take care of just about everything; while I was there he showed me a fat-fendered black '51 Mercury 4-door sedan that they're finishing up full brake and suspension work on - very smooth car with a big-block Chevy under the hood ;)

Brian will take care of stuff I can't do at home - pulling and packing the rear axle and wheel bearings, front-end alignment, new brake lines and hoses front to rear, and a conversion from single-circuit master cylinder to dual-circuit (which most '63 Studebakers already had, except for the bare bones cheapo Standard model, which is what Barney is.

Oh, and he'll also fix one of my boo-boos - installing the A-arm jounce bumpers in the front suspension, which I inadvertently left off during the rebuild. Stand by for details!


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